Made New Template
Part 1: 13.5 Minutes
Welcome to Made New. I’m Justen McCarter, the greatest mower this side of the Mississippi. With me is Little Jimmy Johnson, pastor of Vista Mega Church. And also, with me is Little Bob, Elder, Scholar, Sexy Beast and Pastor at Osceola First Baptist Church.
What is the subject:
Today, as we continue our discussions on the Divine attributes, we will be giving our attention to the topic of Divine Jealousy.
In today’s world, jealousy is bad word. The word has baggage attached to it, such as: insecurity, rage, mood swings, and sometimes abuse. Therefore, when Christians hear that God is jealous, they are often confused about what it means. In fact, they may even be leery of ascribing jealousy to God because of the understanding that it has today.
The first thing that we need to remember is the Creator/Creature distinction. Whenever we describe God, we do so in human language using symbols and objects found in our human world, in our human experience, and so our language is analogical by definition.
Here the attributes of simplicity, impassibility, and immutability become relevant. Unlike the human emotion, divine jealousy is not a mood in God. Jealousy is not the result of a mood swing for him, coming and going, fluctuating one moment to the next. God does not become jealous. It is the essence of his identity.
Matthew Barret defines God’s Jealousy in this way: Jealousy is an “ardent desire to maintain exclusive devotion within a relationship in the face of a challenge to that exclusive devotion.”5 Jealousy, as the Bible defines it, does not describe the raging mad, jealous husband, the lunatic who is unjustifiably suspicious and beats his wife as a result. No, jealousy describes something more like the husband who so loves and cares for his wife and is so devoted to the commitment reflected in the promises they made on their wedding day that he seeks to earnestly draw his wife back to himself should she be flirting with adultery. No one would look at that second husband and think he is crazy for lovingly insisting on marital fidelity, the type that should always be present whenever two individuals have entered into a binding covenant with one another.
What does the Bible say about it?
Another thing that we need to understand is that God’s jealousy is not first about us. It’s about him; his name and his glory. , “I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other; nor my praise to carved idols.” Jealousy means that God always responds to his right to be acknowledged as the only true God.
When Israel was liberated from Egypt, the first command that they receive is that they are to have no other God’s before them. For God is a jealous God. (;)
Even in the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart; it was for God’s glory. This is revealed to Moses. God himself says why during the eighth plague: “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD’” (). It’s as if the Lord hardens Pharaoh’s heart so that he can demonstrate his incomparable power over against the strongest ruler on earth in order to showcase the greatness of his glorious might, not just to the Egyptians but to the watching world.
In Hosea, God is depicted as a loving husband, jealous for his wife. , “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.”
Ezekiel uses the imagery of marriage as well. Israel is compared to a baby girl left to die in the streets, wallowing in her blood, on the day she is born (). As she is drowning in her blood, the Lord sees her and says, “Live!” (16:6). When she is grown, he makes her his bride, entering into a covenant with her so that she will belong to him and enjoy the endless gifts of his kingdom (16:8). But instead she becomes a “harlot” not only prostituting herself but doing so without charge (16:15–34). She has not only committed adultery with one lover but become a professional prostitute, offering herself to many lovers, turning herself into a “commodity to be sold.”
What has gone wrong? She has trusted in her own beauty rather than in the Lord (16:15). She has forgotten where she came from and who redeemed her.
One may ask if God in the OT is different than the one in the NT. Is this true? Is God a god of wrath in the Old and one of love in the New? How is God’s jealousy displayed in the NT? Through Christ. His anger with the Pharisees and religious leaders. His desire for God’s glory.
Commercial Break: 1 Minute
Part 2: 13.5 Minutes
What does this look like in life?
God’s jealousy does not only display itself in wrath against those who provoke him. Rather, his jealousy assures us of his compassion, love, and mercy. In Hosea it is because God is a jealous God that he loves his bride with cleansing mercy, guaranteeing the continuation of his covenant promises.
Whether examples of judgment or mercy, these metaphors are meant to capture God’s jealousy for a people, a people that is to be loyal to him, pure and holy, set apart to worship the one, true, and only God. “But I am the LORD your God from the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior” ()
God is for God. Why? Is it okay for God to be jealous for his own glory and name? Yes! For God to point to anything else would be selfish. Edwards says, “God is Being of beings, infinitely the greatest and best of beings.”
Again, Barrett comments, “ But since he is the most glorious being there is, to point us to something or someone else instead would be the most selfish thing he could do. It would also be the most unloving thing he could do. If he is the most perfect, supreme, glorious being, then he is where the greatest joy in life is to be found. If God did not draw attention to himself as the supreme being, then we would not experience the greatest joy there is in life. (Piper quote)
Therefore, our existence is for God’s glory. Not only is he jealous for himself and for us. We are to be jealous for him. (Elijah) . In a world filled with Baals and idols. We can’t have God in one hand and Baal in the other. We need to be committed to this God who has saved us for Himself.
Frustrated with false apostles creeping into the church and leading Christians to embrace a false gospel, Paul, in the spirit of Elijah, says to the Corinthian church, “I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (). A “sincere and pure devotion to Christ”—that is the type of godly jealousy that is to define every Christian and every church.